From her unhinged “freaknik”-esque ensemble to her knee-slapping “see you in a bit dog shit!” exit phrase, both of which saw RuPaul unleash her signature cackle, Miss Naomi Carter has fast become one of the most championed contestants to ever sashay into the Drag Race UK werkroom.
“She’s gonna go so far after this, so f**king lovable,” one viewer tweeted after her elimination, while another correctly described her as an “angel” who must be “protected at all costs”. She didn’t usurp Danny Beard as the ‘UK’s Next Drag Superstar’, but who gives a damn when you’ve been inducted into the UK’s hall of fame of national treasures?
“I’m finally getting me flowers!” Naomi tells GAY TIMES. “Not like that, but I just feel like because I’m up North in a tiny little city, not a lot of people see me. Now, the world’s getting to see me and everybody seems to be so nice and kind. I’m just feeling the love, and I love the love.”
This week’s episode saw the contestants split into three teams to deliver a masterclass in three topics: love, werk and play. Naomi’s lack of jokes (and lashes) placed her in the bottom two alongside Cara Melle, where they proceeded to demolish the stage to Yazz’s classic ‘Only Way is Up!’
Following Naomi’s elimination, we caught up with our number-one “Donny gal” about her time on Drag Race UK, including the Untucked drama between Team Love, why the lip-sync wasn’t “fair” and her genius choice for Snatch Game.
Naomi, I was going to start this interview with an “AY UP!” but I would’ve failed spectacularly.
Go on. Do it. I’m not judging you, don’t worry.
That’s perfect babe. That were spot on, that.
You are too kind. How’s life been for you over these past few weeks as a RuGirl?
Honestly, it’s been the wildest ride ever. I’ve had such a great experience, like, with all the fans. It’s just been so nice. I’m finally getting me flowers! Not like that, but I just feel like because I’m up North in a tiny little city, not a lot of people see me. Now, the world’s getting to see me and everybody seems to be so nice and kind. I’m just feeling the love, and I love the love. So yeah, I’m having a lovely time.
Don’t forget, the world did see you with your iconic racing video…
I mean, that was iconic, weren’t it? Let’s be honest. She’s a runner, she’s a track star!
I think I speak for a lot of people when I say your exit has stripped away a lot of gorgeousness from that werkroom. Let’s discuss your elimination, how did it feel watching it back?
It’s what I expected, if that makes sense. I were thinking about it a bit at first and I were a bit like, ‘Ooh, it’s elimination day.’ But it’s already happened, I’ve already been through the experience. It’s not gonna get worse than going home, let’s be honest. As gutted as I were, I were rubbish in that challenge. It is what it is, baby! I can’t be mad at myself.
Do you agree with the judges’ decision to put you in the bottom?
If it was up to me, just because the winning group won as a group, I think we should’ve been judged as groups. But, it’s none of my business…
So who do you think you should’ve been in the bottom with instead? C’mon, get shady.
I don’t know. I think my group was the stronger out of the bottom two groups.
You think it should’ve been Cara and one of her teammates?
Oh no, I ain’t saying no names! I don’t know, to be fair with you. I would say their group, but I don’t know who, really. I would’ve loved to see their group lip-sync against each other because there were a little bit of drama in Untucked. I would’ve lived to see that.
@gaytimes @Miss Naomi Carter✨ spills on what character she would have done for #snatchgame! #dragraceuk #dragraceuk5 #missnaomicarter ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES
That hoo-hah between Cara, Vicki and Banksie was… What was it like being there? Gimme the gossip.
It was as wild as what you saw. I think all of us were a bit like, ‘Oop!’ in the moment. It was another gag. That’s the good thing about this season. As much as there is drama, there’s a lot of entertainment as well. I know drama is entertainment, but there’s a lot of comedy and good aspects. There’s a few catfights here and there – I don’t even know how to word it babe, I’m a bloody nightmare! You know what I’m like with me words. I feel like I’m waffling now.
Gimme a waffle. I love a waffle.
As much as there is drama, it does balance it out with the fun. Of course, everyone loves a bit of shade but… I don’t know, I feel like I’m waffling, sorry!
Naomi, you injured your knee earlier in the season. How are you now? Are you fully recovered?
It’s not 100 per cent there, if I’m being honest with you. I’m getting twinges and stuff like that, but it’s a lot better than what it was. I could barely walk. You might be like, ‘You seemed fine on the runway’ but I’m walking in front of RuPaul. I’m not wearing expensive outfits and doing a little limp! ‘It’s gonna hurt me, but I’m gonna walk it.’ I just need to rest and recover it, but because I work in drag so much, it’s a little bit hard. When I get a down day, I get my kneestrap on and get it elevated, all that jazz.
So you haven’t continued to race straight men on the street then?
Not lately. I feel like I need to have a day off so they can win some races, know what I mean? They’ve got no chance while I’m around in my heels.
A generous queen. Knowing that your knee was injured and that you had to go up against a powerhouse performer like Cara Melle, what was going through your mind when you had to lip-sync?
In my mind, I thought it wasn’t technically fair in the sense that I’ve got a gammy knee. I’m bloody limping around backstage like I’ve got one shoe on, one shoe off. It was technically not fair, but it is what it is. I did shit in that challenge, so I can’t be mad at myself or Cara for me doing shit.
You made me, and a lot of people, cackle at your exit line. Can you please do it again for me?
“See you in a bit, dog shit! Ehh!” I didn’t even have anything pre-conceived in my mind or anything. I just got to the end and I were just like, ‘Well, you’ve sent me home. Bloody rude of her, innit? So see you in a bit, dog shit. See you later!’ I’m not even joking, RuPaul were cackling for like… I could hear her while I were going. I was like, ‘I guess that were funny?’
You’re a very congenial queen, a shoo-in for Miss Congeniality. Who did you grow closest to across the course of the season?
Ooh, there’s two people that spring to mind. We’ve got Ginger Johnson, absolute babe, and then we’ve got Banksie, who’s an absolute bloody babe. Not that I weren’t close to anyone in the werkroom, but I feel like sometimes you work around people or in groups, and I found myself working around them quite a lot. Backstage, we would just have little chats. Me and Banksie are the same age, so I feel like we’ve got a lot in common.
Are you hoping for one of them to take home the crown?
Honestly, as much as I love them, I’m happy for any of the queens to win the crown. They’re all so amazing. Not even just amazing drag queens. They’re all lovely people, as well. That’s what you want for someone to win the crown. I know it’s a boring answer but I genuinely think they’re all amazing.
You may have sashayed away sooner than we expected, but you have gone down in the herstory books for providing us with one of the most hilarious, outrageous and iconic design challenge looks ever. Can you talk to me about that?
That was a day. It was so funny. RuPaul were saying that it were giving her freaknik, 90s vibes. Me and the girls think that RuPaul could actually see her younger self. Not now, she’s too glam. She could never wear what I wore, and I don’t blame her! She liked it in the way that she could relate to it. She could relate to seeing people back in the 90s at freaknik parties. I feel like she loved it in those aspects. But, it just weren’t the one were it? Let’s be honest. I’m aware! I am the seamstress of season five. The worst thing is, I’ll tell you this babs: I can actually sew. My mind just went ‘poof’. I didn’t have enough fabric to line my durag, and when I had the walkthrough with Ru, they told me I needed to line it. So I thought if I don’t line it, I’ll end up in bottom. Let’s be honest, I could’ve just done the durag because I would’ve been in the bottom anyway.
It’s up there now with LaLa Ri’s paper bag look…
Oh yes. I think that LaLa Ri and Tia Kofi walked so that I could run, but not with this knee.
Do you still have the look?
Oh girl yes, I do.
Has The Lourve been in touch to put it in their collection?
Yeah girl, have I not told you? They’re gonna archive it. No, seriously. It’d be going to a bloody skip site. Only place that deserves to go. In Drag Race with the sewing challenge, everyone always remembers the queen that does really well or the queen that bombs it. So, you may as well just bomb it and be memorable, and that’s what I did.
You’re right. No shade to the queens of season 13, but I can’t remember any look besides LaLa Ri’s.
That’s what I mean. Be memorable in one way or another. I know it were shit, everyone else knows it was shit, but I wore it and it did its purpose.
Naomi I have to ask: Snatch Game. What’s the situation there?
Are you ready for it?
You ready? I’m ready. You said that with a lot of determination. I were gonna do Brenda from Scary Movie. Yes, I know. Funnily enough, I was bouncing around a few different ideas when I was thinking about it. It was around this time last year that auditions and stuff like that were starting to happen. Obviously it’s Halloween now, and I think Scary Movie came up on Netflix. The reason why I was so gagged is because, why has nobody thought of it?
View this post on Instagram
She is responsible for two of my favourite film scenes ever: in the cinema and “Cindy, TV’s leaking.”
I also love, “Out of my face, out of my face!”
For this choice alone, you are the winner of this challenge.
Thank you. That’s one thing I never thought I’d hear, that I’m the winner of a challenge! Bloody hell. I wanted to hear it, but I never did…
When we last spoke you told me that, as the first Gambian queen on Drag Race, you want to be an inspiration for people of Gambian heritage. So, how has the response from Gambian fans as well as people from Doncaster?
I feel like with Gambia itself, it’s a bit of a controversial issue because it’s illegal to be gay there. Dressing up as a woman, you can go to prison. It’s not a nice place. However, I’ve had such a great reception from people living in the UK from Gambia. They’ve been like, ‘This is the representation we needed. This is my Gambian queen.’ I’m just like, ‘Oh my god, I’m your queen?’ and it feels bloody brilliant. The reception from Doncaster and Hull has been insane. Everyone’s messaged saying how proud they are of me and that I’ve done Doncaster and Hull and Gambia proud. Getting eliminated, you think you’ve let everyone down. The fact I haven’t and everyone’s so proud of me is a really nice feeling.
What’s next for you Naomi?
I wanna be like, ‘Next club, next club, brunch, no sleep, another club.’ Nah, I wanna do some music. I love rapping and singing, so I wanna get music done. It sounds strange, but I wanna rap the male parts and then sing the female parts. I can do this weird thing with my voice where I can be very deep, it’s almost like two different people. Why pay someone else to sing on my track when I can do it myself?
Miss Naomi Carter featuring Miss Naomi Carter.
I will purchase this on the iTunes. Let me know when it’s out.
I will babs, don’t you worry.
Drag Race UK season five is streaming now on BBC iPlayer.
You can watch our entire interview with Miss Naomi Carter here or below.